Bobby Clark leaving ProgressNow for the Gill Foundation

For years now, Bobby Clark has been a warrior for the political left via his position as executive director of ProgressNow Colorado, and he's still on the job. Earlier this week, he shared a list of winners and losers of the 2010 legislative session.

If you're having a hard time guessing which side Cory Gardner winds up on, note that he's described as the "King of Self-Inflicted Wounds."

Soon, however, someone else will have to hammer the right -- because as of July 1, Clark will take over as the vice president for communications and marketing with the Gill Foundation, which advocates for LGBT equality.

"It was definitely a tough decision," he acknowledges. "I love ProgressNow. I poured my heart into this place. If I didn't feel ProgressNow was on such strong footing, the decision would have been even harder. But it's in great shape. It continues to be a strong progressive voice in Colorado."

True enough -- but most pundits see this year's election is a potentially grim one for those of the liberal persuasion. Clark feels such predictions of gloom are overstated, however.

"I'm actually optimistic about the chances for progressives this year, from ballot issues to candidates," he says. "I don't think it's going to be a repeat of some past elections," when a party that did well during a presidential year was decimated in the midterms. "Voters will ultimately have a choice between two people for most offices, and I think there are going to be a lot of strong progressive candidates for people to choose from. And on the right, one issue they're going to have to contend with is how they're moving even further to the right.

"You're seeing primary losses for more moderate Republicans, and that's not going to serve them well in the general election. We're a pretty moderate electorate here: Coloradans don't respond well to extremism, and that may be the choice they're given by the right -- some candidates who are more extreme than the general population."

The post at the Gill Foundation opened up when Clark's predecessor, Fred Sainz, took a gig with the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign. Clark saw the position as a good fit.

"It's a mission-driven organization, and I've been working with mission-driven organizations for a long time," he notes. "The foundation's been doing fantastic work for sixteen years and is heading in a great direction, so this is an opportunity for me to be able to expand some work I've been interested in for a while now."

At this point, no one's been chosen to follow Clark at ProgressNow, and a decision will have to be made quickly with the election nearing. But Clark will keep up what he sees as the good fight for another six weeks or so -- before moving on to tackle another one.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts